Can someone help with id please?

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JoanYoung
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Can someone help with id please?

Post by JoanYoung »

This is not the best pic and is in a very difficult place to get to, but I have been watching this for a while and was wondering if anyone can give me an idea of what it might be turning into? it is about 1 - 1.5 inches long. I am thinking that it might be a cricket?
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Joan Young

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Definitely not a cricket --- crickets have incomplete metamorphosis and the immatures look a lot like the adults.

It looks a bit like a moth pupa, especially with all that silk around, but from this angle it's hard to tell.

What else do you know about the beast? Any chance of getting us a shot from farther to the left? (Like about 90 degrees over?)

--Rik

JoanYoung
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Location: South Africa

Post by JoanYoung »

Thanks for the comment Rik. I will climb up the wall again today and see what I can get. This beastie is tucked away in the corner of a 45 degree fence iron on top of a high wall and not easy to get (especially for an old fossil like me), or to put the camera at a different angle, but will try. This was in a cocoon which has been there all winter and I saw this had emerged when I got back from holiday on Monday. Who would have ever thought I would be climbing around taking pictures of bugs of all things. LOL!!
Joan Young

JoanYoung
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Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 4:20 am
Location: South Africa

Post by JoanYoung »

Not much luck on this one Rik. There is just an empty brown shell there today. But here is something interesting. one of our workers says that he knows this and a brown worm (caterpillar I think) comes out of it. He says it is about the same size as the skin but has a horn on it. They (the native people) believe that if you picked it up and asked the worm what direction is north (south, east or west) it rears up and points with this horn. LOL!! Okay, this is Africa, so don;t laugh at our strange beliefs. :lol: I suspect you are right in saying it was a caterpillar of some moth or butterfly.
One thing puzzles me though, there are now two dry skins there? Is this usual? There is the older, yellow one and the brown one.
Thanks for the help.
Joan Young

Ken Ramos
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Post by Ken Ramos »

You know I have seen this exact same thing around my neck of the woods many times and have seen it associated with a larva of some type but I don't know what it is either. Great shot, though the whites are blown. :D

JoanYoung
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Location: South Africa

Post by JoanYoung »

I did try and search the bush near it to see f I could find a worm / caterpillar of some kind, but to no avail.
Oops on the color Ken!!! Sorry about that. :oops: I did try some adjustments but then lost detail on the bugs so I left it like it was. I am not too familiar with the program I am using either as I am sure that somewhere there must be other adjustments I can use as it is quite a sophisticated program. I will experiment with it when I get home and learn how to sort this problem out for next time. :)
Thanks for the comments. :)
Joan Young

MacroLuv
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Post by MacroLuv »

Nice finding Joan. :D
A caterpillar with horn tail? Could be some kind of spinx moth. :-k :wink:
The meaning of beauty is in sharing with others.

P.S.
Noticing of my "a" and "the" and other grammar
errors are welcome. :D

JoanYoung
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Post by JoanYoung »

Thanks for the comment Nikola. You may be right there. I have decided that I want to go and see if I can find a better book on butterflies and moths this weekend. The one I have at the moment lists only a few of the species. Maybe I will find it then. :)
Joan Young

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

JoanYoung wrote:...and a brown worm...comes out of it.
Well, that's very puzzling. Normally the worm (caterpillar) turns into the pupa, and then a moth comes out of it. This puzzle is too complicated for me...

--Rik

JoanYoung
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Post by JoanYoung »

I find it strange too Rik, but then, this is Africa remember. LOL!! This is all that was left this morining. But it still does not answer the question as to why there was a cocoon, then the yellow shell and now the brown one! Too many for my little knowledge. If there was a cocoon, the moth/butterfly would either come directly out of there as a caterpillar and then to a butterfly. Or cocoon = yellow skin = butterfly, but not another skin!! A real weired one this. Something else I might add. this "worm" came out last night sometime not during the day. Aliens maybe?? :)
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Last edited by JoanYoung on Fri Oct 26, 2007 1:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
Joan Young

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Well, when a caterpillar molts to become a pupa, the caterpillar's skin has to go somewhere. Normally it just lies around in the cocoon kind of folded up like an old sock. Then when the moth leaves, what's left behind is the shell of the pupa (one skin), and somewhere nearby there's also the old skin of the caterpillar (second skin). So having two skins doesn't bother me.

What does bother me is the appearance of the lighter brown thing. It doesn't look like any shed caterpillar skins I've ever seen -- it's way too smooth. My best guess would be that these are two different critters that just happened to pupate next to each other. Or maybe the lighter brown thing doesn't even go with an insect. I've seen the wind blow around some coverings of plant buds that look a lot like that. But as you say, this is Africa, half way around the world from me, and goodness knows how things work down there!

If you get a chance sometime, snap a pic of the worm with the horn. I'd be interested to see what it actually looks like.

--Rik

JoanYoung
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Location: South Africa

Post by JoanYoung »

You might be right about there being two different insects using the same area, that would explain it. The wind could not have blown it there as it is about 12 feet off the ground and because of its position, I doubt if this could be a possibility. It is definitely a skin though, you can see where the critter came out of it.
I looked all over that morning to see if I could find the worm, but with no success unfortunately.
The fellow who told me the story of the worm said that if he ever sees one somewhere, he will bring it in for me, but that could take months. LOL!!
Thank you for all your comments Rik, I appreciate you trying to solve the puzzle for me.
Her is a better pic of the yellow skin
Image
Joan Young

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